Argh! I came her to post for help on this issue!!!!
We have a list of things we would like the kids to do every morning and every night. It is not extensive, and some ofit is repetetive--like, if they did their am list, they wouldn't have to do everything in their pm list. It is things like make your bed, put your clothes in their proper places, make sure your pets are taken care of---food and water, clean cages/environments, get backpack ready for school, wash face and hands, brush teeth and hair. Not rocket science, not that demanding.
Can I get the 10 year old to do these things? NO!
Before the list, I would nag. Then I wrote this funny little satirical piece about how to get ready in the morning. Then I made a bright flow chart, with stickers, drawings, etc. Then I nagged some more. Now we are at the checklist.
We used to *not* tie their chores to money, as *I* don't get any money for any chores. It is a household, and we are all working together to keep it clean. We live in a VERY small house, every living space is shared, so it is no good to say they can keep their rooms sloppy if they want--they can't, because the toys are in the youngest ones room, the books and piano and typewriter are in the oldest's room (THEIR choice, when they decided to have seperate rooms). Even my husband and I's "room" which is in reality a sleeping loft in a hallway to nowhere, is a shared space, as that is where our tv is.
But now we are tying some money and priviledges to all this. If they TELL me their lists are finished, and I inspect them and they are NOT (not nit-picky), then they owe me a dollar for each item that they did not do. If they do all their items, then each week they get an extra dollar added to their allowance.
And yet, STILL, my oldest, who is a slob, cannot do this. It is SOOOOOO frustrating!! I just don't know what to do with her. She is spacey as 10 year olds can be; perhaps even a bit more distracted. It is not a problem in school, however, EXCEPT her sloppiness. Her desk is a mess. She often can't find homework because it has been shoved into her backpack, crumpled to the bottom, and forgotten.
Today, I asked if her list was finished. Yes. But why is there no laundry in the laundry basket? I went into her room--the floor is covered with clothes, the bed is not made, and the mouse has no food. Have you brushed your teeth? No. ARGH! So I told her I was withholding her allowance until she got her room in order; she has three days.
I cannot live like this! Okay, vent over.
We have explained before that part of chores are showing respect for others in your household. For example, if you throw your clothes on the floor, and you walk all over them, they tear and are ruined much more quickly. That is disrespectful to the person who purchased them for you. If you let the mouse cage stink to high heaven, that is disrespectful to the mouse and to your fellow housemates. If you allow mold to grow in your room, that is disrespectful (AND DANGEROUS!!) to your father and sister, who have asthma and many allergies and an anaphylactic shock reaction to penicillin. If I didn't buy food for you, that would be disrespectful. If I didn't pay the bills for the electricity and water, that would be disrespectful and irresponsible. We have tried, numerous times, to tie everything together, about respect for work, for responsibilities, and for keeping everyone in our household happy and healthy.
Maybe we need to go over this again.
I also like the idea of maybe making a list, and letting herchoose her chores. There are a few things I am not going to compromise on (like cleaning her mouse cage, or making her bed--because she chooses to let the dog sleep on her bed, and then her sheets get filthy if the bed isn't made with the dog blanket on top). And we did this probably a year ago; but maybe it is time to do it again.
Maybe make a list of chores that need to be done around the house, and ask her to pick a certain amount. Let her decide what needs to be done daily, and what she can do in bits and pieces over the week, or wait until the weekend to do, her choice.
I ask her all the time-is the list not working for you? What do you suggest? Do you have any other ideas? She just shrugs.
We have a great relationship otherwise. This is the main sticking point. We had to do something, because getting ready in the morning was such a battle, it was making us late, no matter what time we got up. Her sister is clean and tidy, and woudl be terribly upset about being late. The school even sent a letter and we received phone calls from the social worker about the frequent tardies (because they WERE excessive). So, in an effort to not be nagging all the time, we made the lists. So now, when I see someone standing around, or reading before school, I ask, Is your list done? instead of nag.
But it still isnt' working!!
Anyway, thanks for the forum for bouncing ideas around and the rant, so I can get it out of my system here and just be helpful and positive when i talk to my dd about it!